Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bearing the Consequences of Laziness

“…She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.”  Proverbs 31:27

I never set out to be a lazy mom.  I really didn’t.  Before having kids I had this idea in my head of how this whole parenting-thing would go.  Actually, I guess if I really think about it, I had ideas in my head of how it wouldn’t go.  My kid would NOT be the screaming toddler in Wal-Mart with no shoes on, half-naked, and begging for more chocolate.  No sir.  Not my kid.  In fact, none of my babies would scream in public, I decided.  My kids would not have messy rooms or gross bathrooms. My children wouldn’t be picky eaters and they would never scream when I dropped them off at the nursery for church on Sundays.

I wish I could kick my pre-baby self. 

4 babies later and my kids have done EVERY single one of those things and worse. Messy rooms? Check.  Gross bathrooms?  Double check.  I remember with particular fondness the day I had to leave my GIANT cart of groceries at Target, right in the middle of the aisle, and go on back home because child #2 (who was shoeless, by the way) was having the meltdown of the century.  (In fact “meltdown” might be too nice a term for it. I mean, what mom out there doesn’t love having to go grocery shopping twice in one day? For the same things? At the same store? Anyways.)

Here’s the thing: I don’t look at these little parenting hiccups as reflections on me, necessarily.  I look at them as my kids being kids.  They need to be trained to not punch one another, to not melt down when I say “no”, to clean their rooms, and for heavens sakes they need to be taught to clean their bathrooms.  They need to be discipled.

But the fight against laziness is real, folks.  And I struggle because everything in me just wants to see immediate results without the work.  It’s a revelation the Lord gave me one morning about myself while I was reading Proverbs 31.  I was trying to focus on the more widely-known things that the chapter talks about:  “charm is deceptive, beauty is vain…”  all good things, of course.  But this particular morning, the Lord had me stop a few verses before that and focus on what he needed me to hear:

“she carefully watches ALL that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.”

 As soon as I read it, I was struck by the truth of it: every time I consciously choose to stop watching what goes on in my household, I am choosing laziness. And how can I expect results without putting in the work? What’s more, how can I expect to lead these little humans when I am not leading with a clear vision?  It’s so true that when you have a vision of where you want to be, an end goal in sight, the process of getting there is easier.   I am a to-do girl, I love my lists, and I love checking off my boxes.  So it makes sense that having a clear-cut vision laid out would prevent laziness.

The truth of this applies to so many other areas of  our lives, of my life:  deeply desiring an intimacy with Jesus yet not putting in enough time daily reading the Word and praying.  Or wanting a healthy body without eating clean or exercising regularly. 

I don’t know if you’re feeling lazy or stuck in any areas of your life.  For me, 1 of my big areas is discipling my kids.  I feel stuck and a little bit broken in that capacitiy.  But I am constantly praying that the Lord would put a resolute spirit deep in me to apply his truth and discipline to this area of my life.  Because I know that’s what it will take – time, discipline, hard work, and applying the truth of His Word.  Without Him, it’s too hard, too easy to give up and just keep on treading water in whatever issues you’re facing.  But we aren’t meant to live a life of treading water.  We aren’t meant to live a lazy life.  A vision-less life.  We are meant to live life abundantly (John 10:10).  That’s why Jesus came. 

I pray that whatever you’re facing and whatever areas God is calling you to pay more attention to, whether it’s your health or your kids or your marriage or whatever your thing is, I pray that the Holy Spirit would “put steel in your convictions” (1 Thessalonians 1:5, The Message).  And even though the enemy will try to condemn and constantly plaster the word “failure” over our lives, I pray that the Lord would gently but firmly remind you of who HE is and who you are in him.  Because without him, we will fall short every.single.time.  We need him.  In the big areas that we’re all facing and even on those days when we have to leave Target because the kids just won’t stop screaming.   He makes beautiful things out of our broken places.

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